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Former Main Library Building To Reopen Soon As Jessie Ball duPont Center

The former Main Library in downtown Jacksonville is set to reopen as a nonprofit office building and cowork space.

The Jessie Ball duPont Center on East Adams Street is expected to house about 200 workers by the end of this year.

The 50-year-old former public library adorned with brightly colored tile will soon house 14 nonprofit organizations’ headquarters. Leading a tour of the building Thursday morning, was Mary Kress Littlepage.

“This is the first tour that’s not a hard hat tour. We got the certificate of occupancy yesterday,” Kress said.

Architect Brooke Robbins explained how the future tenants are able to move into smaller offices than the ones they currently occupy.

”You know in a typical office building everyone has their own copy room, everyone has their own break room, everyone has their own meeting room. So we essentially pulled those out of the tenant spaces. They might have a small four to six person meeting room, but the larger rooms and the copy rooms, we pull those out so those become shared spaces, so you're not essentially wasting square footage with in your own suite.”

Fourteen nonprofit organizations have signed on to rent space in the building. The first tenants are expected to move in Monday.

With a $25 million investment from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, the companies will pay about half the rent of a comparable commercial office space. Their rent money will go toward maintaining and operating the building.

Some areas of the old library will also be available as co-work spaces and will be available for private-event rentals.

Jessica Palombo supervises local news gathering and production, podcasts and web editorial content for WJCT News, ADAPT and Jacksonville Today. She is an award-winning writer and journalist with bylines including NPR, Experience Magazine, and The Gainesville Sun. She has a master’s degree in broadcast and digital journalism from Syracuse University and is an alumna of the University of Florida. A nearly lifelong resident of Jacksonville, she considers herself lucky to be raising her own children in her hometown. Follow Jessica Palombo on Twitter: @JaxJessicaP